- South Korea has 11 projects in Timor Leste
Dili, February 1st, 2021– His Excellency the Prime Minister, Taur Matan Ruak, welcomed, this Monday, at Government Palace, in Dili, at first hearing, the new South Korean Ambassador to Timor Leste, Kim Jeong Ho, who recently, on January 15th, 2021, presented the credentials to the President of Republic, Dr. Francisco Guterres Lú Olo, replacing his predecessor, Lee Chin-Bum.
At this first hearing, the Chief of the Executive and the Ambassador shared their thoughts on future bilateral cooperation between the two countries.
Ambassador Kim Jeong Ho told the Prime Minister that, before coming to Timor Leste as Ambassador, he had already heard a lot about the current Prime Minister, notably about his involvement in the fight for national liberation and his leadership, as Prime Minister, especially in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic, which allows Timor Leste, to date, to have not recorded any deaths. For this reason, the Ambassador said he was very proud and appreciated the Prime Minister’s leadership.
Kim Jeong Ho also referred to the Chief of the Executive the 11 projects that South Korea supports Timor Leste in 2021. The eleven projects include the construction of the Taekwondo Centre, in Dili, a program for sending workers to South Korea, which currently registered 600 workers, but which, due to COVID-19, is still looking for other ways to get a direct flight to transport these workers to South Korea, the nutrition program linked to school meals, a rural work program for young people in rural areas, the support for tropical disease control programs such as the distribution of medicine to combat worms, the support to the program to combat the Tuberculosis, the project in the sport area to build a soccer field and 4 futsal fields, with the respective support equipment, the support to the program against Domestic Violence, the Clean Energy program, through the distribution of solar panels to home without access to electricity, the support to the private sector for recycling, the agricultural program in mountainous areas and, finally, the Saemaul Undong program.
On his side, the Prime Minister welcomed the new Ambassador Kim Jeong Ho and wished him success during his tenure in Timor Leste, stating that the relationship between Timor Leste and South Korea began in 1999, and thus, South Korea is already part of the Timor-Leste’s history.
Regarding to the Korean projects to which the Ambassador referred, the Head of the Government thanked South Korea very much for this support, considering that it is part of Timor Leste’s development, and pledged to support these programs, so they run smoothly.
The Head of Government noted further, on the “Saemaul Undong” program, that is going to ask the Ministry of State Administration to better coordinate, in order to synchronize the National Program of Village Development (PNDS-in Portuguese acronym) with “Saemaul Undong”, so that the public may feel like they own this program, since the PNDS has led the community to become too dependent.
On the clean/renewable energy, the Head of Government asked the new Ambassador to continue the program of his predecessor in the island of Atauro, as problems with the electricity supply, and specially with the transmission lines remain on the island.
Finally, on COVID-19, the Head of Government stressed that the success that Timor Leste has achieved is also due to the support of the International Community, including the Government of South Korea, but Timor Leste is still at risk of community contagion, namely due to two factors, the cases of COVID-19 in the Eastern Sunda Province (NTT), which are out of control, and illegal border crossings. The Prime Minister stated, however, that the Government is making every effort to prevent the community transmission. END